Timeline 2017-12-15T02:45:59+00:00
Austin and AMA Music History

Austin Music Awards

The first issue of the Austin Chronicle hits the stands.

Co-founded by publisher Nick Barbaro and editor Louis Black. Louis and Nick would go on to found SXSW with Chronicle staffer Roland Swenson and booking agent Louis Meyers.

Austin Chronicle holds its first Music Poll in the December 18th, 1981 issue.


Austin Music Awards

Waterloo Records opens


Awarded “Best Record Store” in the Austin Chronicle’s ‘Best of Austin’ awards nearly every year since it opened.


Listed as an iconic music store and one of the best music stores in the United States.

Austin Music Awards

The First Austin Music Awards



Austin Music Awards

The 2nd Austin Music Awards


The Fabulous Thunderbirds win Best Blues/R&B/Soul Band and Band of the Year.


Christopher Cross wins Best Soft Rock/Easy Listening.


Jon Dee Graham wins Best Guitarist.


Butch Hancock wins Best Songwriter.


Club Foot wins Best Place to Hear Live Music.

Austin Music Awards

Daniel Johnston comes to Austin after a stint with a carnival crew and hands out lo-fi tapes of his recordings decorated with his artwork

Becomes a highly followed and highly anticipated musical act attracting a cult following.


Songs of love and soul-searching mirrored his life and struggle with mental illness.


Was featured on MTV’s “Cutting Edge” and at the 1992 Music Awards when Kurt Cobain was wearing Johnston’s artwork and often mentioned him in interviews gaining him national exposure.


In 1993 The Sound Exchange record store commissions Johnston to create a mural of “Jeremiah the Innocent” (Hi How Are you?) on the side of the store from his 1983 album cover. Since then the mural has stood as an iconic Austin figure in local culture and music.


Austin Music Awards

It’s becoming a tradition


  Joe Ely is inducted into the Hall of Fame and wins Musician of the Year.

The Fabulous Thunderbirds win Band of the Year.

Stevie Ray Vaughan wins Best Electric Guitarist.

Eric Johnson wins Best Acoustic Guitarist.

Held at Club Foot

Kathy Valentine in attendance

Austin Music Awards

The Black Cat Lounge opens


Legendary rockabilly and blues dive hosted greats such as Austin’s own Flametrick Subs and all the $2 Lone Star and Pabst Blue Ribbon you could drink.


The Black Cat Lounge closed in 2002.


Austin Music Awards

The Texas Music Museum opens

Houses exhibits from Texas’ rich and diverse music scene.


Austin Music Awards

SXSW music conference is formed

In July 1986, the organizers of the New York City music festival New Music Seminar contacted Roland Swenson, a staffer at the Austin Chronicle, about organizing an extension of that festival into Austin, but the plans did not follow through.


Swenson decided to instead co-organize a local music festival, with the help of editor and co-founder of the Austin Chronicle, Louis Black, publisher/co-founder Nick Barbaro, and Louis Meyers, a booking agent and musician.


Austin Music Awards

First annual SXSW Music Conference begins in Austin

Taking place every spring in Austin, it is currently the largest interactive, film, and music festival to date.


It is the highest revenue-producing event for the Austin economy, with an estimated economic impact of $190.3 million in 2012.


Texas guitar legend Stevie Ray Vaughan wins Grammy for “Best Contemporary Blues Recording”

Tragically that same year, he died at the age of 35 in a helicopter accident in East Troy, Wisconsin while en route to his next stop of the “In Step” tour.

Austin Music Awards

The Austin Music Commission is formed

Serves as an advisory board for the city council on music development issues.


Austin Music Awards

Austin is named the “Live Music Capital of the World


Austin Music Awards

Emo’s opens

Starts as a local punk club originally located in the Red River music district, and helped form Austin’s live music scene.


Now an Austin iconic venue hosting bands of many genres including indie, alternative, rock and hip hop.


The original location closed in 2012 and reopened its new location at 2015 E. Riverside hosting various local and national artists.


Austin Music Awards

The Austin Music Network airs

AMN becomes first non-profit independent music channel.


Documented live performances and played uninterrupted videos from local Texas musicians.

Austin Music Awards

Stevie Ray Vaughan Memorial is erected on Town Lake


Austin Music Awards

Music becomes regular form of entertainment for arriving guests at Austin-Bergstrom International Airport and continues with performances eleven times a week


Austin Music Awards

First annual Austin City Limits Music Festival

Brings in national bands from all over the country.


Austin Music Awards

Fun Fun Fun Fest launched

FFF kicks off hosting an annual fall festival of hip-hop, electronica, punk/metal, indie rock, and comedy.

Austin Music Awards

Austin is named Gibson “Guitar Town”

15 guitar sculptures were created by notable musicians and artists.


Are displayed throughout downtown, at Austin-Bergstrom International Airport and City Hall.


Austin Music Awards

The Texas Music Memorial is opened on ‘City Terrace’ at the Long Center of Performing Arts

Honors individuals every year who have made important contributions to the development of the music scene in the Austin community.


Austin Music Awards

The new ACL Live at the Moody Theater opens

Seats 2,750


Serving as the new location for the Austin City Limits live taping and as a music venue

Austin Music Awards

AMP (Austin Music People) is created

Birthed as a coalition serving the music venues, musicians, and fans to help preserve the growth of economic development. The AMP represents live music interests in public and private forums.


Austin Music Awards

Willie Nelson honored in the unveiling of his bronze statue, “red-headed stranger” at 4:20 pm on April 20, 2012

A gift from the city of Austin for Willie’s contribution to Texas music and for helping develop Austin as a Texas music epicenter.


Located in front of ACL Live at the Moody Theater on Willie Nelson Blvd.


Austin Music Awards

Sound on Sound festival opens